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Strategies for Dyslexic Learning: Avoiding learning loss over the Summer.

Friend of The Studying With Dyslexia Blog, Cigdem Knebel has kindly written this useful article on how to help maintain your child's learning during the school summer holiday.

Cigdem writes:

Leave behind the morning routines, after school activities and the weekend games: Summer is here. It is time for a break from tears at school pick-ups and melt downsduring homework time, as well. Simply relax and enjoy the sun. But don’t just throw away the school books out the window just yet. 
While summer break is an excellent time for all children to charge up their batteries, a long break from academics actually results in learning losses both in reading and math. This is especially true for children with learning differences. These losses accumulating over the years result in students with learning differences to fall behind even further than their peers. So this means that parents of children with learning differences might just need to sprinkle care-free summers with some educations activities. 
Feel bumped? Let’s take this a step further. Summer can actually be a great time to polish up reading and math skills to narrow the gap that might already exists. These couple of months is an excellent opportunity for students with learning differences to catch up where they have fallen behind. Unlike during the school year, focusing on one subject at a time without the distraction of other classes could result in significant gains in a short period of time. 
Leisure reading is an excellent way not only to practice reading skills and fluency but also build reading confidence. Summer is the best time to introduce reluctant readers to new reading materials. Decodable chapter books at the right reading levels are great choices for teaching young readers the love of reading. 
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Summer, indeed, can also be a good time not only for maintaining or catching up on the knowledge or skills, but also, tipping the students’ toes into the curriculum of the upcoming academic year. Although not as much fun as reading fiction books, reading ahead in text books during summer also prepares them for the approaching academic year.
But don’t fret. This does not mean, the entire summer break needs to be filled with math facts, phonics and worksheets. It is certainly time to unwind and an excellent time to focus on what is truly important: Self-confidence, as well.  
Heavy demands of the school year bring up the frustration level for students with dyslexia. Anxiety is a common symptom many children with dyslexia experience way to early and frequently. Summers without heavy academic stress might just be the right time to ease their anxiety and strengthen their self-confidence. Spend time on activities that naturally draw their attention and come easy to them. Spark interest in learning beyond academics. Learn a new skill, play a new instrument, visit new places, meet new people to create long-lasting happy memories. 
Make the best of these summer months by enjoying the time off with loved ones and continuing to grow the love of learning!

By Cigdem Knebel
Founder of Simple Words Books –

When Cigdem Knebel struggled to find high-interest/low-level decodable chapter books a dyslexic child could painlessly read, she began to write one herself for her 7-year-old son.

Cigdem is the founder of Simple Words Books (SWB), which are high-interest /low-level decodable children's chapter books. Her mission is to improve fluency, comprehension, and most importantly, reading-confidence of children with dyslexia. She accomplishes this by using many carefully chosen decodable and frequently used words in her books with the skills of young dyslexics in mind.

Cigdem believes that all children love to read. This is no different for children with dyslexia; they just need to find that right book for them. And Simple Words Books aspire to be those books.


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